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How can I handle my aggressive and violent son?

Thursday, 20 April 2006
Answered by: Arpita Anand
Consultant Psychologist,
Max Healthcare,
New Delhi
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Q. My 22-year-old son is very aggressive & turns violent at times. It is difficult to have a peaceful conversation with him. He is very intelligent & smart, but very lazy, due to which he couldn't do well in academics. He has done a diploma in chemical engineering and has worked in a call centre for a year. He is a spendthrift and irresponsible about everything. He has a bad selection for friends and our effort to correct him has never worked. He has no respect for his parents and is very abusive towards me. Even if I talk to him in a peaceful way, he ends it in a big fight by destroying something in the house. I approached a psychologist but he said that I have to bring him there, which is very difficult. How can I help him? I don't want to give up on him. He is ruining his life due to his aggression. Is there an organisation that can help me out in this situation? His father's involvement in the house is very less. He is job less now and spends his time sleeping, watching TV and roaming around with friends.

A.  Let me start by saying that I can understand your distress. To see your young son have emotional outbursts and not be focused on any life goal is a very difficult thing to deal with. I also appreciate your motivation to make sure he gets help. It is important you keep trying to help him no matter how long the process may take. This is important because he may not have the insight into his problems and he will need your support to get over it. I will advise you to reach out to him and try and establish some communication with him. Do not be critical and tell him that you care. Keep channels of communication open. Once this is established suggest that professional help is important. If none of this is possible, then you can consult a psychologist on your own. You can, together, consider ways that will encourage him to seek help.

A.  Let me start by saying that I can understand your distress. To see your young son have emotional outbursts and not be focused on any life goal is a very difficult thing to deal with. I also appreciate your motivation to make sure he gets help. It is important you keep trying to help him no matter how long the process may take. This is important because he may not have the insight into his problems and he will need your support to get over it. I will advise you to reach out to him and try and establish some communication with him. Do not be critical and tell him that you care. Keep channels of communication open. Once this is established suggest that professional help is important. If none of this is possible, then you can consult a psychologist on your own. You can, together, consider ways that will encourage him to seek help.

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